Clay Aiken – He’s My Favorite!

On Thursday, December 17th, American Idol tweeted a fun message:

“American IdolVerified account
Who’s your favorite American ‪#‎Idol‬ contestant of all time? Tweet us now! ”

Well, I sent a quick reply and said my favorite was Clay Aiken.  That’s all you need to do…no gushing is preferred!



O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us a lamp to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
O beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine on

I grew up in a musical family. I majored in music during college and played professionally for many years. But, I was a classical musician and my knowledge of country, rock and roll and pop music was very limited.

In 2005, Clay Aiken introduced me to another style of music. In a special Christmas gift to his Grandfather, Clay performed “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” a bluegrass song. It was a poignant moment and I loved the entire performance. However, I wanted to know…….what, exactly, is bluegrass music.

Bluegrass music is a part of country music and is pure American music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of immigrants from Ireland and the United Kingdom. It also has some African-American inspiration with a touch of jazz and blues.

Bluegrass relies mostly on acoustic stringed instruments. The fiddle, five string banjo, acoustic guitar, mandolin and the upright bass are traditional instruments in bluegrass music. Sometimes, the resonator guitar is added.

Traditional elements are important. The musicians play folk songs with simple traditional chord progressions. A distinguishing characteristic of bluegrass is vocal harmony featuring two, three, or four parts.

Bluegrass, as a style, developed during the mid-1940s some time after World War II. It wasn’t called bluegrass back then. It was just called old time mountain hillbilly music. One of the most popular hillbilly musicians was Bill Monroe and since he was from Kentucky, the bluegrass state, the music was named bluegrass.

I doubt if there was a dry eye in the concert hall when Clay sang for his grandfather. This one-time performance was a gift from the heart to Clay’s Papa.

We are lucky that there is Clack from this concert.  This beautiful song is not only a tribute to Bluegrass music, but a special performance filled with love.


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  1. While I wasn't there that night ::sigh::, I still listen to this song in rotation on my Christmas CD's! Very sweet!

  2. Beautiful! The first time I heard Clay sing this I learned to appreciate Bluegrass Music . I had only liked "Hillbilly" music but this is so simple and pure. Thank you for the video and Merry Christmas and a Wonderful NewYear to you and especially to Clay and his Family.

  3. Clay Aiken sings Christmas songs like no other… you Clay Aiken.

  4. Of course, I voted for OMC! He is the best performer and he gives his heart and his time to others. Clay is The American Idol!
    I love the moment when Clay sang for his PaPa! What a personable gift! Love you, Clay! Again, thank you, musicfan for giving us memories of Clay!

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